Bird of the week
Though our coal tits are sedentary in nature, they will move around locally in search of food, with varying numbers turning up at garden feeders. Research by the British Trust for Ornithology has shown that there is a correlation between the amount of beechmast produced by beech trees and observations in gardens, with far more coal tits making use of supplementary foods in years with less seed.
Coal tits are hoarders, like jays and nuthatches, and you may see them flying back and forth between a feeder and a favourite hiding place. If sunflowers start growing in your hanging baskets or among your patio plants you will know who to blame. Coal tits are much smaller than blue tits and seem more susceptible to periods of cold weather, with numbers dropping during the spring of 2013, for instance, when winter lasted longer than is now usual. (top) (bottom)